inner voice and normal voice in the same subtitle
Thread poster: Pilar Dueñas

Pilar Dueñas  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 01:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dec 29, 2020

Hello forum,
I'm proofreading a film where we hear the character's inner voice and, in some subtitles, I have two sentences, one is normal speech and the other, his inner voice.
The translator has correctly used italics for the inner voiced but then, in a new line, he adds a dash to signify the change to normal speech.
So:
/I shouldn't ask her that./
-Would you like to go?

What would you do? Have you ever seen this on Netflix?


 

Sarper Aman  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 10:57
English to Turkish
+ ...
Dec 30, 2020

I'm assuming that you're following Netflix guide too. I checked the guideline now but couldn't see any related article. In my opinion, it's better to split lines if it's possible. Or hyphens for both lines maybe?

Best,

[Edited at 2020-12-30 06:29 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-30 06:32 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-30 06:34 GMT]


 

Ekaterina Verma  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 10:57
Member (2020)
English to Russian
+ ...
Italics for inner voice Dec 30, 2020

Dear Pilar,

A nice topic you have brought up!

It would help, though, if you could specify the target language of subtitles you are proofreading and whether the translator was supposed to follow Netflix guidelines? Because there is a bunch of agencies with their own subtitling guidelines selling media content to Netflix and for each language, the guidelines may vary.

I would assume that subtitles are in English, and if the speaker is the same, there is no ne
... See more
Dear Pilar,

A nice topic you have brought up!

It would help, though, if you could specify the target language of subtitles you are proofreading and whether the translator was supposed to follow Netflix guidelines? Because there is a bunch of agencies with their own subtitling guidelines selling media content to Netflix and for each language, the guidelines may vary.

I would assume that subtitles are in English, and if the speaker is the same, there is no need for dash or hyphen for the second line either, and it should be formatted as follows according to Netflix English guidelines:

I shouldn't ask her that.
Would you like to go?

I.e. the first line should be italicised (The voice of a visible character expressing unspoken thoughts or inner monologue, I.9 here: https://partnerhelp.netflixstudios.com/hc/en-us/articles/217350977-English-Timed-Text-Style-Guide)

And the second line with no other formatting because it is the same person speaking, just with their normal voice. To me, the switch itself from italics to a 'normal', non-italicised format is indicative enough to demonstrate the change and does not require additional indicators, such as / or -.

As for // or /.../, over the years and across different agencies, I have seen it left mostly for project managers as an indication of hesitation from the translator's side.
For example, I did this to one subtitle line when I had a character using his native language and then English in the same subtitle. After a discussion with the project manager, who was not sure either whether the client needed to keep the line in a foreign language in the subtitle, we decided to mark it with // so that the PM later could easily spot it and remove it when delivering the file.

My point is that it is not a conventional way to do this (although with so many agencies, you really never know!), and my guess is that probably, the translator also put / to draw attention to this subtitle, and it would be probably best to communicate this little issue to the project manager and/or the translator to agree on a better version of a subtitle format? What do you think?

Regards,
EV
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Pilar Dueñas  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 01:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great! Dec 30, 2020

Hello Sarper and Ekaterina,

Thank you very much for your answers.

The films are in Swedish, the pivot template is in BrEn, sort of, and I am proofreading the Castilian Spanish version.

Yes, it is for Netflix. I put the slashes to signify that the sentence is in italics, sorry for the confusion.

Ekaterina, your answer is very helpful, thank you so much. That is how I solved it for the Spanish version, although I did not break the subtitle if t
... See more
Hello Sarper and Ekaterina,

Thank you very much for your answers.

The films are in Swedish, the pivot template is in BrEn, sort of, and I am proofreading the Castilian Spanish version.

Yes, it is for Netflix. I put the slashes to signify that the sentence is in italics, sorry for the confusion.

Ekaterina, your answer is very helpful, thank you so much. That is how I solved it for the Spanish version, although I did not break the subtitle if the total characters of the inner voice and the normal speed did not exceed 42 characters.
So: She looks great. Hi.

I am going to send your comments to the project manager so that at least the dashes are removed.

Enjoy your holidays!




[Edited at 2020-12-30 12:57 GMT]
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inner voice and normal voice in the same subtitle

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